Kindness Won't Get You Anywhere
Part 1 - Morning Mist
by Meimi


Standard disclaimers apply.

SPOILER WARNING: Spoilers for 02 (that's season 2 for the uninitiated) up to and including the episodes involving the first appearance of the Crest of Kindness.

SHONEN AI WARNING: This is a shonen ai fic and contains within it romantic themes and hints of an intimate relationship between two male characters. If this disturbs you in any way PLEASE do not continue reading. And yes, I am sick and twisted, thanks for asking.

What Has Gone Before: Okay, I'm tired of coming up with a crappy summary for this. Just go read the other fics to know what's going on, please? Thank you and enjoy!


He awoke to the sound of waves lapping upon a beach. A truly alien sound for his bedroom, but one that sounded far too familiar for his peace of mind. It was a soft, lulling sound. One could almost classify it as a dead sound. It made his skin crawl and his ears scream at him at the terrible silence of it all. But most of all, it made him cold inside, so terribly cold. It was a brittle chill that seemed to spread down from his neck and encased his chest in ice so cold it burned.

For the fifth time in his life, Ichijouji Ken was completely and utterly terrified, and he wasn't exactly sure why. It ran in his veins, freezing his blood even more to the point where he couldn't even move. Time seemed to slow as the sound of the waves grew louder and louder. He could almost feel a nigh nonexistent wind as it brushed against his skin, feeling like dead leaves and smelling of ocean salt.

And then, the sound was gone as if it had never been, leaving him trembling from dark, terrible visions that he couldn't quite remember and yet haunted him still. Sighing at last, when the feeling had dwindled into a tiny ache, Ken slowly rolled over, curling up against himself beneath the covers. Wonderful, now he was having nightmares on top of nightmares. Would it ever end?

He lay like this for awhile, deliberately attempting to blank his mind out so that he wouldn't be able to think about anything. Of course, he didn't succeed, but don't they always say that it's the thought that counts? He was tired, always, always tired. Nothing seemed to change that anymore, nothing at all.

The nightmares didn't exactly help either. Oh, he could stomach the ones where he, as the Kaiser, ended up killing a innumerable amount of digimon, or the ones where he tortured and killed the other Chosen Children, even the horrible ones where it was his hand on the wheel of the car that ran Osamu down or even the ones of him slaughtering Wormmon. Those, he had no doubt that he more than richly deserved. Even more disturbing were the ones that replaced his brother with Takeru, those always left him a shuddering wreck. Certainly he had more than enough darkness within for his subconscious to produce such masterpieces of horror. But where exactly was this new one coming from?

He had never been frightened of the ocean. He had never had a bad experience at a beach, not that he could remember. Granted, there were holes in his memories of the past, places in his mind where he had no idea what had happened or what he had been doing, an unsettling fact he had had to live with for quite a while now. Most of these holes were before he became the Kaiser, so he attributed it to the aftereffects of the battle with Millenniumon and even that memory was sketchy at best. So there was the possibility that it was a buried fear, but it was certainly farfetched. If it was something that had been buried in his psyche for so long, why did it decide to start coming out now of all times? It just didn't make sense.

Shaking his head at the answers he could not find, Ken slowly sat up, stretched the kinks out of his back and climbed down off his bed. He could barely make out the sounds of his mother going about her business in the kitchen. He was up early, but not by much so she shouldn't be all that worried about it. Not long ago, the first thing he would do in the morning would be to turn his computer on and check out the data that had been gathered overnight in the Digital World. Nowadays, he didn't even deign to look at it. He had little use for it now.

Instead, he picked up a black, fine-toothed comb from the desk and began to yank out the knots in his hair as he turned to watch his progress in the mirror. Tossing and turning all night tended to produce a great deal of tangles, and since that happened more often than naught he ended up spending a great deal of his time in the morning taking care of his poor abused hair. As for his poor abused psyche, well there really wasn't anything to be done about it other than to just leave it be.

Finishing up his task a few minutes later, Ken laid the comb back down on the desk and walked over towards the closet. He quickly dragged out a clean uniform, gray, dull and drab. It really did match his school life remarkably well though. Smirking humorlessly, he thought about that particular subject as he dressed himself. School had always been gray, dull and drab. Even when he was a child he had never had any school friends. Really, who would have wanted to bother with the poor neglected baby brother of the amazing prodigy? Oh certainly, there had been sympathy after Osamu had been killed but nothing interesting until he started showing signs of taking after his dearly departed brother. By then, of course, he really hadn't wanted anything to do with the people who just wanted to be friends with the new genius. Maybe he should have been more... willing to give it a try? But at the time he had had more important things to consider than mindless groupies, and now it really didn't matter.

Perhaps he was fated to only have one friend in life at a time. It certainly seemed that way now didn't it? Surveying his image in the mirror, checking for anything out of place, he muttered, "Getting sentimental now are we Ichijouji?" Shaking a finger at his reflection, he quirked his lips up into a false smile, "Better watch it, if you keep it up Takeru might get worried about you."

Hmm, Takeru was probably up already. Cocking his head slightly, Ken turned and gazed at his computer appraisingly. Maybe he did have a use for it now after all. Giving that particular thought a half smile, Ken pushed the power button on and waited patiently for the system to boot up. It took several minutes, several minutes that grated on his nerves. He was going to have to reconfigure the start up menu. There really were too many digital programs on there that he just didn't have any need for now. Ah well, perhaps another time.

Ignoring the many alerts and warnings the system was chiming at him about the non-working black spires, Ken instead activated the monitoring system he had developed for the other children's communication network. Honestly, was it any wonder he always knew what they were doing? Smiling pleasantly at the thought, Ken typed up a short message and sent it off to Takeru's terminal. Now to see how long it would take for a response.

Takeru, having just recently gotten out of the shower, was busy toweling his hair dry when his D terminal started blinking at him. Now who would be sending him a message this early in the morning? Picking the device up, he flopped down on his bed beside a still snoozing Patamon and flipped it open. Patamon grumbled sleepily at him, curled up tighter into a ball and settled back into dream land. No way was Patamon getting up yet unless there was food, and since breakfast wasn't ready yet the little digimon had no intention of moving.

Takeru smiled gently down at his partner before keying up the incoming message. It was from... Ken? He didn't know Ken could access their terminals, though it would stand to reason. Ken was a genius after all and Takeru was more than certain the raven-haired boy could figure out how to do anything with the proper incentive. Grinning as something occurred to him, Takeru typed up a reply and sent it off.

Ken was busy moving a few program files around when the reply came in. Oh, he wasn't fool enough to delete them and have done with it. Just because he wasn't the Kaiser anymore, nor would he ever be, didn't mean that the Kaiser's programs didn't have their uses. It was better to have unused resources than nothing at all.

He raised an eyebrow in curiosity as he read over the message. Takeru wanted him to come to Odaiba after school so they could go somewhere together. An appealing thought, and certainly nice company to waste the afternoon away with. He could do that. It wouldn't be hard at all to convince his mother to let him go for a visit. That decided, he sent off a confirmation and asked what Takeru had in mind. What exactly did Takeru want to do?

Takeru looked up from where he was getting his backpack in order when the D terminal's light flashed again at an incoming message. That was fast. He quickly read over the message, a delighted smile dawning across his face as he did so. Thinking for a moment, his smile turned into one of mischief as he typed out another reply and sent it off.

Just finished with cleaning up one of the major directory structures, Ken keyed up the new reply and blinked curiously. A surprise? Takeru wanted it to be a surprise? He wasn't all that big on surprises, but he didn't hate them either. So... why not play along? Still, Takeru deserved a little jab for it. Smiling in good humor, Ken sent off another reply.

"I'm a tease? I am not," Takeru scrunched his nose up at Ken's most recent message. He frowned thoughtfully and looked over at Patamon, who was finally starting to wake up. "Am I?"

"I smell food," Patamon piped up cheerfully, seemingly ignoring Takeru's question completely. Stretching his wings, he flapped over towards the door, which was still closed, and glared back at his human partner. "And yes, you're a tease. I'm smelling food, but the door is still closed. You're teasing me with the aroma of food." Patamon's eyes got big and teary as he put on his most pitiful expression, "Open the door, Takeru! Please?"

"Oh fine, you suck up." Takeru stalked over towards the door, opening it with a flourish. "And I am not a tease," he called out after the little digimon as Patamon flapped off towards the dining room.

He pouted slightly as "Whatever you say, Takeru." floated back down the hallway. He wasn't a tease. No, certainly not... well maybe. Just a little bit though, nothing serious. Still debating the issue in his mind, Takeru sent a final message off to Ken before heading out after his partner. Time for breakfast.

Ken chuckled lightly at Takeru's somewhat indignant response to his ribbing. The blonde was as much fun to tease as he was a tease. Hmm, Takeru wanted to meet up at the Fune no Kagakukan train station. So, at least he wouldn't have to go far into Odaiba and risk running into the other children... alone. That was good, it was best to avoid conflict with them where ever possible. Well, now he had something to look forward to after school. That was nice. Ken shut his computer down as he rose from the desk chair. But where could Takeru possibly want to take him to? Interesting little mystery to ponder upon for the day.

Turning away from his desk, Ken shivered slightly as a cold draft seemed to emanate from nowhere in particular. Odd, his mother certainly wouldn't have turned the air-conditioner on this late in the fall and the balcony door was shut tight. Perhaps he was now being haunted, though frankly it would be hard to figure out just what might be haunting him since there were so many things that could be haunting him. Ken smirked at his own morbid humor as he turned to gaze down at the ever present picture of his brother on the desk.

Leaning down, Ken tapped the glass covering the photo and murmured solemnly, "To give up the ghost or... or what? Hmm, interesting thought that." Straightening up, he cocked his head thoughtfully as he continued to stare down at the picture. "We are not the same. Asking what you would do would be an exercise in futility." Whirling around, he cast the photo one last negligent glance and shrugged at himself. "Good day, big brother."

Perhaps from a lone air current or perhaps more, after Ken's back was turned the glass in the picture frame fogged up where his fingertips had touched it. Ken took no notice of it as he quickly walked out of the room to go join his parents for breakfast.

"Good morning dear," his mother smiled at him hesitantly as Ken walked into the dining room. She was always hesitant and cautious around him now. He had never told her or his father anything about the time he had been gone, or what he had been doing during it, and he supposed it just made their concern even worse. It wasn't as if he could tell them about it even if he wanted to either. Oh yes, that would go over well. 'Mother, Father, I was away in another world sporting dear Osamu's hairdo and having great fun kicking around and terrorizing the inhabitants of said world.' They'd be taking him to doctors to 'help him' before he could even blink. Oh certainly, he probably needed 'help' but not in that particular regard. Besides, he deserved all the suffering his psyche decided to visit upon him.

"Good morning, mother," he finally replied, giving her a warm, reassuring smile as he sat down at the table. Oh, it wasn't a real smile, but it wasn't exactly a fake one either. Takeru's little mystery had piqued his interest, but it was so hard to be happy about anything for long. Ah well, as long as he hid behind the mask of contentment there shouldn't be too much to worry about.

Ken's father joined them soon after his mother finished setting the table for breakfast. The man eyed him warily in speculation before venturing, "Morning, son. Did you sleep well?"

Ken sighed silently to himself, his father was somewhat scared of talking to him anymore. Did they really think he'd leave again if they upset him inadvertently? Like he had anywhere else to go now. "Perfectly fine, father." A little white lie never hurt anyone.

They ate their breakfast for several minutes in silence. It was to be expected. They had come to the realization that they just didn't know how to talk to him and he just didn't really care to discuss anything with them. It was tense, but there really wasn't anything to be done about it. It was just how things were now. After a few moments thinking about how to inform them of his plans for later that day, Ken finally decided to just play it by ear. "Takeru invited me to go somewhere with him this afternoon."

His father recovered first from the surprise at the news of him going anywhere with a friend. They were still a bit unaccustomed to him having anything resembling a friend and, of course, they knew nothing about his real relationship with Takeru. "Takeru? In Odaiba?" A slight frown of consternation crossed his father's face as Ken nodded in reply. "That's a bit far. You'll have to take the train-"

"That's wonderful dear," his mother cut his father's reluctant mumbles off instantly with her good cheer. A look Ken couldn't quite read passed between his parents before his mother returned her attention back to him and asked, "Where will you be going?"

"I don't know," Ken cocked his head curiously as he watched them with a calculating gaze. Sometimes he had to wonder about his mother's exuberance for Takeru and his 'friendship'. "He wanted it to be a surprise."

"Oh, that sounds like it'll be fun," his mother's grin of abject joy practically beamed as she leaned over and patted him gently on the shoulder. "Why don't you ask Takeru to spend the night tomorrow? He hasn't been over all that much lately."

Now there was an appealing idea, and his mother even suggested it no less. Really, what better setup could he have ever asked for? Smiling as the interesting possibilities began popping up in his mind at the suggestion, Ken muttered, "We'll see, mother. We'll see."


It was overcast in Odaiba when Ken stepped off the train at the Fune no Kagakukan Station. It hadn't looked like it was going to rain during the ride over though, so that wasn't much of a worry. He let the press of people push him further into the station as he looked around for the telltale sign of golden hair tucked under a rather silly looking hat. It didn't take Ken long to spot Takeru further off to the side and the blonde hadn't seen him yet. Smiling whimsically to himself, Ken effortlessly made his way through the crowd around and behind his friend. This should prove to be mildly amusing.

Takeru frowned slightly as he looked around at all the people coming off the train from the JR Shimbashi Station. He couldn't see Ken anywhere, though there were still a few stragglers hurrying off the train so... Takeru froze in midthought as he felt slim fingers walking up his spine and towards his neck. Whirling around, he came face to face with a rather amused looking Ken. "Sneak," he grumbled, before warming up to the fact that Ken seemed happy to see him if the teasing was any indication. That was a pleasant thought.

Ken tilted his head to the side and grinned impishly. "But you make it so easy. How can I resist?" He chuckled quietly as Takeru grumbled back at him for that and started to lead them over towards the station exits. "So where exactly are we going?" he asked, his curiosity for Takeru's little mystery 'date' getting the best of him finally.

"Well, mom just recently finished a story on the Maritime Museum," Takeru started off as they walked out of the station. Smiling cheerfully at the fresh air, he led Ken off towards the bay. "And she managed to get a couple of tickets that included tours of the Soya Antarctica observation ship and Yotei Maru ferry. I thought that it might be an interesting trip," he trailed off into silence and looked hopefully over at Ken.

"That sounds fine," Ken murmured lightly. He didn't really care about the destination actually, he just liked being around Takeru anymore. Hmm, yet another one of those things he really should think more about one of these days. "No rush though!" he burst out a minute later as Takeru grimaced, grabbed his arm and picked up the pace a bit. He was about to dig his heels in when he noticed a rather familiar looking girl on the opposite side of the street. Oh, that explained it then. He sighed and allowed himself to be dragged along for another block. He didn't particularly want to run into Hikari today and highly doubted Takeru wanted to either.

It wasn't until the museum came into view that Takeru finally slowed their progress. Hikari might seem okay with things now, but he really didn't want to push their luck. Besides, he wanted today to be as enjoyable as possible, if at all possible. He smiled when Ken cracked a grin of amusement at the museum's exterior. The main building was shaped like a giant ocean liner and did look kinda silly all things considered. Still, it was a rather nice museum and offered some interesting exhibits.

"So your mother did an article for a newspaper on the museum?" Ken asked conversationally after Takeru handed over the passes and they were allowed inside. Typically like most other public buildings, the staff still had the air-conditioning on so it was slightly chilly inside, not too much though.

"For a magazine," Takeru corrected as they followed the path towards where the ships were moored. "It was a commission of sorts for a travel magazine. She enjoyed it, the staff here is pretty nice and were more than willing to give out whatever information mom might have needed."

Ken chuckled at Takeru's explanation as they walked up onto the deck of the Yotei Maru ferry, "I think that's part of the job description though."

"Ah, you're probably right," Takeru admitted as he looked out over the bay from the main pavilion. Rainbow Bridge arched high over the water not far in the distance, even in the daytime it was a rather spectacular view.

Ken's smile faded as he stared out over the calm water of Tokyo Bay. Without the sun shining down on it, the bay water was dull and dark to the eye. It reminded him somewhat of that mystifying nightmare he had had that morning. What was so frightening about the sound of water washing up on a beach? It just didn't make sense. No matter how much he tossed the subject around in his mind he just couldn't figure out why that nightmare had been such a horrifying experience. It was just too strange.

"Ken?" Takeru asked hesitantly after spending a few moments watching his friend in growing concern. Ken seemed to be thinking about something, something that looked to be distressing. When the raven-haired boy didn't respond to his question, Takeru reached up and rubbed Ken's shoulder. "Hey, are you okay?"

"Hmm?" Ken looked over at Takeru dazedly for a second before mentally smacking himself for getting so caught up in his thoughts. He could handle this. He could, and he really didn't want Takeru worrying about him for something this silly. "It's nothing really," he hedged and smiled. Hopefully, Takeru would get the hint.

"Oh," Takeru frowned. He didn't believe that one little bit, but he really didn't know how to get Ken to open up about 'things'. "Well, you know you can talk to me about anything, right?" he offered, hoping that someday Ken might take him up on it. There wasn't any harm in trying after all.

Ken closed his eyes at that. Why did he always feel like crying whenever Takeru asked him that? Oh how he wanted to, but no, he shouldn't, couldn't, impose on Takeru like that. No one deserved his demons but himself. "I know. It really isn't anything important though."

"All right, but the offer still stands if you ever want to," Takeru shrugged as he trailed off. He didn't know what else to say now. "I'm not exactly going anywhere."

"I know. I know." Ken smirked, hooking his arm in Takeru's and tugging the blonde back towards the 'tour' route. "But I do believe that you were taking me on a tour of a rather silly looking museum now weren't you?"

Takeru laughed, "Yeah, I guess so." Oh, he knew the ploy for what it was, but if it was what Ken wanted he could play along. "We should get to it then."


Dusk was settling over the city when they finally returned to the train station. They had both had a bit too much fun with the radio powered boats in the pond at the museum. Eventually their antics had started up a bumper boat fight with the kids, and a few adults, who had been playing around with the boats as well. When they had been run out at closing time, Ken had still been chuckling about the whole thing. Takeru liked that, he liked hearing Ken laugh a great deal.

Takeru fidgeted slightly under the brilliant electric lights in the station. There were many things he would have liked to have done with Ken, but being in public put a damper on them. It made for a good bit of frustration when he kept getting the urge to touch or hug or even kiss his raven-haired friend. Still, it had turned out to be a good afternoon, even with those few mysterious minutes of silence on the old ferry.

Ken watched Takeru out of the corner of his eye and frowned ever so slightly. The blonde seemed a bit out of sorts and he couldn't figure out just why. It was odd, when he was the Kaiser he could have sworn he could read any of the other children like an open book, and yet now he had to guess and he was never sure about whether those guesses were correct or not. It was quite confusing. But there was one thing he was forgetting.

Takeru froze as he felt slender fingers brush against his own, squeezing them lightly before drawing away again. He smiled over at Ken, the brief gesture warming him inside despite the simplicity of it. He blinked curiously at the mischievous glint sparkling in Ken's amethyst eyes.

"Mother," Ken held a finger up as he started off in obvious good cheer, "suggested that I should ask you to spend the night tomorrow night." Shaking his extended finger and winking suggestively, he impishly added, "I know I would certainly appreciate it, in more ways than one."

Takeru felt his cheeks heat up in what must be a rosy blush at the obvious undercurrent in Ken's words. He would certainly appreciate what Ken was hinting at himself. He was feeling a bit antsy of late. Clearing his throat, he chuckled, "I'm sure mom wouldn't mind me spending the night. I'll give you a call later to confirm it."

"Good good, and here's my train." Ken gave Takeru a brief squeeze on the shoulder before turning away. "I'll see you tomorrow then," he threw back before walking off to board the train headed across Rainbow Bridge.

Takeru watched Ken go, a soft smile twisting his lips upwards. He really did like being around Ken and he was really, really glad Ken seemed to like being around him too. And maybe there was more to what he was feeling than he thought. It was something he thought more and more about of late, about there being more to it than just what was obvious.


Ken sighed wearily as he got ready for bed. His mother had pounced on him the instant he had gotten back from the 'date'. She had been terribly exuberant about it, asking questions about whether he had enjoyed himself and so on. Thankfully, a few veiled, happy-seeming answers had kept her from pressuring him too much about it. It was a bit tiresome though. He didn't mind it all that much, but there was a point where it started to get on his nerves.

Takeru had called shortly after he had managed to calm his mother down a bit to confirm their plans for tomorrow night. He was more than looking forward to it, though certainly not in the way his mother thought. It had been quite awhile since he had had his way with Takeru, now he could make up for lost time. What a pleasant thought.

He gave little thought to the nightmare he had had the previous night as he climbed up the ladder and into bed. It had been just another nightmare amidst a multitude of others, even if it had been a bit odd. It was just a nightmare though, nothing to ponder upon for too long, especially when he had far more interesting things to think about.

Ken always expected nightmares when he lay down to sleep, it was due course. He could either suffer through the nightmares he knew he more than richly deserved or he could develop a nice bout of insomnia. Since he didn't very much like the idea of looking like the living dead during the day, Ken opted out for the nightmares.

Even with the usual nightmares though, Ken was a bit surprised to open his eyes up on an expanse of foggy, gray beach a mere instant after he had closed them to the view of his pitch-black bedroom. This obviously had something to do with the nightmare from the other night, and yet, Ken still had no clue as to where in particular it was coming from. He had no memory of a beach like this.

The blackish-gray surf washed up onto the gray shoreline just a few inches from his feet. It was too quiet, even for a calm sea it was too quiet here. There was no wind here, nothing at all to disturb the whitish-gray fog that shrouded the rest of the beach from view. Ken could make out cliffs rising up a good ways back from the edge of the water, but he couldn't make out how high up they went. It was just too strange.

Ken blanched when he finally looked down at himself and noticed that he too was as gray as his surroundings. He was wearing his school uniform, which he hadn't been wearing when he went to bed. So that at least confirmed that this had to be a nightmare, even if it felt all too real to him.

The sound of sand crunching beneath careful footsteps drifted across the dead beach, coming towards him. Ken froze as they came closer and closer becoming louder and louder until his ears ached from the sound of them. Then they stopped and he had the unexplainable urge to run, to flee from this terrible place before he was forced to acknowledge it, before he had to face whatever it was that was out there in the fog.

"Strange to see a human here," a female voice spoke at last from behind the fog. It was a pleasant voice, one that hinted at the pleasurable sins that one could partake of life. It made the darkness within himself sit up and take notice while the rest of him cringed away in knowing horror. This was not the kind of voice he wanted to come across when he was alone and most especially not here and not now in this place that was too dead to be real.

A moment passed in the horrible, echoing silence before an unnaturally large clawed hand reached out from within the fog to rake it away. And now Ken really was frightened as the fallen angel digimon came into view. She smiled at him as a cat would to a crippled mouse it had come across by chance, one that she more than intended to play with before the kill.

"How is it that you came to be here little human?" Lady Devimon purred as she stepped closer.


::heh-heh:: The Devimons are my favorite pair of digimon period. Why? Because they have the most incredibly sexy Japanese voices, even if Shiozawa Kaneto is no longer with us. ;_;

And yes, the Maritime Museum in Odaiba is shaped like a giant ocean liner. The first time I saw a picture of it, I giggled my head off. The two ships mentioned in the fic are moored there as attractions and the pond with the radio controlled boat actually exists. The hands on parts of museums are so time consuming in the fact that they are unbelievable fun. Take this from someone who stayed at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta playing with the bubbles with her friends until closing time.